Chinese Treasury

View of the Chinese Treasury

View of the recently renovated Chinese Treasury

Opened on May 19, 2014, the Chinese Treasury (gallery 219) re-creates the type of collecting and display found in the treasure cabinets (duo bao ge, literally "boxes of many treasures") assembled throughout the late Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. Extraordinary works in ivory, rhinoceros horn, glass, porcelain, and jade and other hard stones celebrate the skill and imagination of Chinese artists in designing and crafting these materials.

Many of the pieces in this gallery derive either their form or imagery from vessels produced during the Shang (ca. 1600–1046 b.c.) or Zhou (1046–256 b.c.) dynasties. Other recurring subjects include stories from Chinese history and literature as well as popular gods from religions such as Buddhism and Daoism. Landscapes, flora, and fauna, many of which are imbued with auspicious meaning, are also found in all media.

Touchscreens in the gallery provide information on the individual objects, materials, and themes.

See a slideshow of highlighted works in the gallery.

Related Publications

Leidy, Denise P., Wai-fong Anita Siu, and James C. Y. Watt. "Chinese Decorative Arts": The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 55, no. 1 (Summer, 1997).

Valenstein, Suzanne G. A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989.

Asia 100

In celebration of its centennial year, the Department of Asian Art is showcasing its unparalleled collection through a range of inspiring exhibitions, events, and other offerings through spring 2016.